Wedding Centerpieces: How To Achieve An Inexpensive Elegant Look

Create a tasteful look while staying within your budget. Saving money does not mean you have to sacrifice style.

The first step in creating centerpieces is determining how many you will need.How many tables do you plan to have?If the tables are long, will you need more than one centerpiece per table?When you figure out how many centerpieces you need, begin collecting the necessary items to put them together.These items do not have to be expensive in order to create elegant, inviting centerpieces. If you want to save money, the key is to find creative alternatives, or alternative places to shop for the items you need.Anything labeled "wedding" is going to cost more, so avoid pricey shops as well as the wedding sections of department stores.

CHAMPAGNE GLASS CENTERPIECE

Items needed for this project:

Fluted champagne glasses

Tissue paper (one package per centerpiece)

Ribbon

Faux pearls

Baby's breath

Small box or small empty margarine container (ask friends and family to start saving these for you well in advance)

Fabric (optional)

Tie the ribbon into bows on the stem of each champagne glass, just under the bowl of the glass.Lay the small container, upside down, in the center of the table and drape a piece of tissue paper over it.Stand one of the glasses on top of the box, and place the other one next to the box.

Create "clouds" from the remaining tissue paper by twisting it and bunching it up.Arrange the clouds around the bottom of the glasses, making sure to hide the shape of the platform.Drape strings of pearls intermittently around the whole arrangement.Add small bits of baby's breath here and there in the folds of the tissue paper and tuck a small sprig into the bow on each glass.

TIPS:

-Purchase the champagne glasses at a dollar store or discount store.They don't all have to match as long as you have matching sets for each table.

-Purchase spools of ribbon in the fabric section of a department store, instead of buying expensive ribbon by the yard.

-Strings of faux pearls can be purchased at a dollar store in the toy section or costume jewelry section, or by the yard in the fabric section of a department store.

-If your ceremony flowers don't contain baby's breath or similar "filler" you will need to purchase some.Faux baby's breath is less expensive than fresh or dried, and it will not become brittle like the dried variety does.You can usually find a fairly large bunch for approximately one dollar in the craft section of any department store.

-If you haven't managed to collect enough small boxes or margarine containers (they don't all have to be exactly the same size) ask the clerk at one of your favorite stores if she has some small boxes she is willing to give you.

-Inexpensive fabric can be used in place of tissue paper if you so choose.Many department stores have remnant bins, or discount fabric sections.

GLASS BOWL CENTERPIECE

Items needed for this project:

Glass bowls (two small, one medium, and one large for each arrangement)

Flowers and greenery

Candles (optional)

Place the large and medium sized bowls next to each other in the center of the table.Center a small bowl behind them and in front of them.Tuck greenery, small flowers, or filler into the spaces between the bowls, and place flowers where the bowls come together.Reserve a few flowers.Pull the petals off these and sprinkle the petals on the table around the arrangement.Add a candle to each bowl if desired.



TIPS

-Lovely, crystal-cut bowls can often be found at discount or dollar stores.

-You can also use glass votive holders, which usually cost less than one dollar each, in place of small bowls.

-The bowls can be filled with wedding favors such as net bags filled with mints, if desired.

-These make great gifts, if you plan to use your centerpieces as parting gifts for special guests.

BRANDY SNIFTER CENTERPIECE

Items needed for the project:

Mirrors

Large brandy snifters

Flowers

Ribbon

Place the mirror in the center of the table.Place the snifter on top of the mirror.Tie a bow around the stem of the glass.Fill the bottom of the snifter with water and "float" a flower inside.Sprinkle flower petals around the snifter.You can also surround the bottom the snifter with a few flowers if desired.

TIPS

-Inexpensive mirrors can be purchased in different shapes and sizes at discount stores. Leave the mirror in the frame or remove it from the frame before use, at your discretion.

-For added effect, you can add a few drops of food coloring to the water.

-Using cool water to fill the snifters will help keep flowers fresh.

-Snifters can also be filled with packets of personalized matches or other wedding trinkets, instead of water and flowers.

PICTURE FRAME CENTERPIECE

Items needed for this project:

Inexpensive self-standing picture frames

Photographs

Greenery

Flowers

Paint or fabric (optional)

Glitter (optional)

You can paint each picture frame a shade that compliments your color scheme, or you can purchase white frames.Using white or off white will add a sense of richness to this display as will softening up the hard edges by covering the frames with fabric. Collect favorite photos of bride and groom.Make black and white copies.Place photos inside the frames, and stand the frames back-to-back in the center of the table.Fill the area between the two frames with some greenery.Garnish with flowers and sprinkle flower petals or glitter around the arrangement if desired.

TIPS

-If you borrow any photos, be sure to return them after making copies.

-Picture frames are easy to find at discount and dollar stores.You might get an added discount by asking the manager to order an entire case for you.Even if you don't get a discount, they will be easier to transport if still in their original packaging.

-Many department stores offer discount fabric or inexpensive craft paint that will work great for this project.

Most of these projects include great ways to re-use the flowers from your wedding ceremony, instead of having to purchase reception flowers too.Just have friends gather the flowers before leaving for the reception.If everything else you need is ready, these projects will be simple enough to complete in a few minutes.Your friends should have no problem putting them together before you arrive at the reception.

Using your ceremony flowers will not only help save money, it will insure that you have beautiful centerpieces that match everything perfectly. If you don't wish to use your ceremony flowers, or can't for some reason, faux flowers can be used instead.They can be purchased inexpensively at most discount and department stores.Each of these projects will result in elegant centerpieces that you will be proud to show off.The best part is each of them costs less than ten dollars per centerpiece to make.

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